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May 2005
image My guess is that this video clip is real (the banner ads on the site that hosts the movie probably aren't safe for work, but the clip itself is safe). It's the kind of stunt that circus performers, sword swallowers, etc. have done for ages. It's still pretty bizarre to watch, however. I think the clip has been doing the rounds for a couple of years because I vaguely remember seeing it a long time ago.
Categories: Photos/Videos
Posted by Alex on Wed May 18, 2005
Comments (24)
Curtis Heroman has decided to toss his hat into the ring to make himself eligible for the NBA draft. The unusual thing about this is that Heroman isn't a particularly good basketball player. He played in high school and competes on Louisiana State University's intramural team. But that's it. So he would seem to be an unlikely candidate for the NBA draft, but as it turns out, anyone can sign up to put their name on the list of eligible draftees. All you need to do is fill out the paperwork. It's just never occurred to anyone in the past to put their name on the list if they weren't a serious candidate. An NBA scout commented that "It sounds like he's playing a joke for his friends."
Categories: Sports
Posted by Alex on Wed May 18, 2005
Comments (1)
In the past few days the 'Piano Man' has been getting a lot of attention. He's a guy who was found "wandering on a windswept road on the Isle of Sheppey". He was dripping wet and very confused. The authorities took him to a hospital where the staff discovered that although the guy refuses to say a word, and they have no idea of his identity, he is an accomplished piano player. He's now been at the hospital for a couple of weeks, during which time he hasn't said a word, but he loves to play the piano. All of this seems very similar to the case of the pianist David Helfgott, who was depicted in the 1996 film Shine starring Geoffrey Rush. The cases seem so similar that some people are suspecting it's some kind of hoax or prank. I really doubt it's a hoax. It sounds like he's been at the hospital long enough that the staff would have seen through it by now if the guy were just putting on an act. (thanks to KJ for forwarding some links about this)
Update: My wife pointed this out to me. Could the Piano Man be a modern-day Princess Caraboo?
Update 2: A Polish mime claims that he knows the Piano Man and says that he's a French street musician named Steven Villa Masson. This has yet to be confirmed.
Categories: Identity/Imposters, Psychology
Posted by Alex on Wed May 18, 2005
Comments (28)
Here's another Google satellite map oddity. It's a photo of West Palm Beach, Florida. But look closely. The satellite appears to have captured a UFO flying overhead:

(via Outhouse Rag)
Categories: Extraterrestrial Life, Photos/Videos
Posted by Alex on Mon May 16, 2005
Comments (30)
image The Dartmouth Online reports on a new business launching soon. It's Hufu, which stands for Human Tofu. This is a "type of tofu that simulates the texture and flavor of human flesh." Hufu (and, by extension, human flesh) apparently "tastes like beef but a little softer in texture and a little sweeter in taste." The article states that the company will:

initially only offer Hufu Classic Strips, which, according to Nuckols [the founder of the company], "will basically resemble the choicer flesh, which is upper arms, thighs and buttocks." Nuckols, however, assures customers that plans have been made to develop Hufu Hearts and Dr. Lector's Liver.

I'm not sure if this is a hoax in the spirit of, or whether the guy is really planning to sell Hufu. He could basically sell regular tofu and call it human-flavored. Who would know the difference? He does admit that "a larger market will be for the clothing items." (thanks to Iain Cupples for the link)
Categories: Food
Posted by Alex on Mon May 16, 2005
Comments (15)
Last week I linked to The Black Spider Club, which describes itself as "the worlds most exclusive club". Today I've received an email from this exclusive club:

Hello Alex
Can you please remove the 'Black Spider Club' from your website. We are not
a hoax and by listing us on your site, you have made us feature on google.
Thanking you in advance

I feel kind of special that they noticed me, them being so exclusive and all. However, I'm not sure how to react to their request. Are they serious? If they are, is there some kind of right to privacy on the internet? You can create a site, but then ask no one to link to it? Anyway, I never said they were a hoax (I just want to clarify that). I don't actually have any idea what they are.
Categories: Websites
Posted by Alex on Sun May 15, 2005
Comments (48)
Many of you have probably heard by now that police have located the source of the finger that Anna Ayala found in her chili at Wendy's back in March. The finger belonged to "an acquaintance of Ayala's husband" who "lost the finger in an industrial accident in December and provided it to Ayala's husband, Jaime Plascencia." But shockingly, as Captain Platypus reports, another finger has been found in Wendy's food. This time the digit was found in one of those Wendy's Jr. Frostys that they were giving away as a promotional stunt.
Categories: Food
Posted by Alex on Sun May 15, 2005
Comments (4)
Markus Leonhardt has come up with an ingenious way to cool his computer. He immerses the entire thing in vegetable oil:

Markus Leonhardt has taken the shortest route possible to liquid cooling.
1. throw motherboard in fish tank
2. cover in vegetable oil
3. there is no step 3
Markus has been using this system for over a year. it is quiet and is cooled by the still functional fans circulating the oil. he has swapped components and even successfully used pulled hardware in other pcs.

This just boggles my mind. Wouldn't immersing your computer in vegetable oil short circuit it, or something like that? I also would have thought it would overload the fan motors. There are color pictures of the Oil Computer here, as well as more description, though most of it is in German. (via Reality Carnival)
Categories: Technology
Posted by Alex on Fri May 13, 2005
Comments (80)
image Are your kids out of control, but you don't like the idea of spanking them? Then the BratZapper might be the solution for you. It's the high-tech electrical way to discipline children:

In a society such as ours its no longer appropriate to hit a problem child or spank them with a belt. In these political correct times such disciplinary measures are frowned upon. BRATZAPPER leaves no marks and the slight discomfort felt by the child is over in moments with no after pain. Bratzapper is totally safe and effective and will NEVER harm your child in any way when used as directed.
Categories: Websites
Posted by Alex on Fri May 13, 2005
Comments (27)
Here's a good idea: Google Content Blocker. It allows you to block all that annoying content, so you only have to see the ads:

Google's mission is to organize the world's advertising for maximum exposure to Web users. Unfortunately, annoying Web content often overwhelms the page, causing many users to become distracted and overlook the ads. That's where Google Content Blocker comes in. It effectively blocks all Web site content, leaving only the advertisements...
After you install Google Content Block, just surf the Web as you normally do. When we find a site that has content, we will block that content so you see only the ads. It all happens automatically, with no effort on your part.

Brought to you by John Walkenback of J-Walk, who has also brought us the Nigerian Email Conference and the WiFi Speed Spray.
Categories: Advertising, Websites
Posted by Alex on Fri May 13, 2005
Comments (5)
Josh Whicker, creator of the Hoosier Gazette, is featured in a segment on Across Indiana that you can see on the web (if you have Windows Media Player). If you don't recognize the name, Josh was the creative force behind internet hoaxes such as the Name Change for I-69.
Categories: Photos/Videos
Posted by Alex on Fri May 13, 2005
Comments (1)
image Watch out all you people who enjoy hitting golf balls. Justice will be done:

Categories: Sports, Websites
Posted by Alex on Thu May 12, 2005
Comments (4)
At this link you'll find a long essay ranting about the evils of microwave ovens. It claims that food cooked in a microwave, no matter what kind of food it is: "increases cholesterol, increases white blood cell numbers, decreases red blood cell numbers, and causes production of radiolytic compounds (compounds unknown in nature)". All sounds a bit dubious, but I'm actually more interested in one specific story told at the beginning of the article:

There was a lawsuit in 1991 in Oklahoma. A woman named Norma Levitt had hip surgery, but was killed by a simple blood transfusion when a nurse "warmed the blood for the transfusion in a microwave oven!" 

This seemed a bit unlikely to me, but a quick google search revealed that this same story, with almost the exact same wording, appears on many sites. So obviously this is a tale that the anti-microwave people have been spreading around. However, a little more searching reveals that the story isn't true. The incident did happen, but a jury found that Norma Levitt was killed by a blood clot, not by blood heated in a microwave.
Categories: Food
Posted by Alex on Thu May 12, 2005
Comments (42)
Former congressman and current MSNBC political commentator Joe Scarborough has had to apologize for claiming that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger wanted to blow up the moon. Scarborough had criticized Schwarzenegger for making the following remark:

"If we get rid of the moon, women, those menstrual cycles are governed by the moon, will not get (pre-menstrual syndrome). They will stop bitching and whining."

But although it's very believable that our Governor would have said something like that, in this case he was innocent. The remarks were actually made by a Schwarzenegger impersonator on the Howard Stern show.
Categories: Celebrities, Radio
Posted by Alex on Thu May 12, 2005
Comments (9)
Edna Barrie has forwarded along some pictures of large fish (and one large frog). I don't see any reason to think any of these aren't real.

image image image image
Categories: Animals, Photos/Videos
Posted by Alex on Thu May 12, 2005
Comments (64)
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